Seriously, what more could you ask for?
Today is the day many a Zelda fanatic has been waiting for. And if you’re one of those few people who still doesn’t know whether or not this book is right for you, there’s really only one way to answer that: Are you at all interested in The Legend of Zelda franchise? If so, then this book is 100% for you.
Hyrule Historia is being marketed as an “unparalleled collection of historical information on The Legend of Zelda franchise.” Well, after spending some time thumbing through the entire book, I have to tell you, they weren’t kidding. This is obviously more than some mere collection of artwork and screen shots with a few captions thrown in for good measure. Hyrule Historia contains bios and concept art, from initial design through final rendering, of just about every character you’ll ever remember from any Zelda title. I’m talking people, towns, locations, whatever; if it exists in Hyrule, this books wants to teach you everything there is to know about it.
One of the main selling points, at least for me anyway, was that this was also the first official timeline for the entire Zelda franchise Nintendo has ever produced. Never again will I be “chronologically confused about Zelda.” In fact, while of course the artwork and character concepts are beautiful and thorough, the best parts of this collection are really in the story and historical sections. Hyrule Historia bookends with a great introduction by Shigeru Miyamoto himself, and ends with a few words from Eiji Aonuma, director and producer at Nintendo Corporation as well as series producer for the Legend of Zelda. These two are able to provide such interesting insight into the creation and development of the beloved series in a way that really feels like you’ve peeked behind the curtain and become a part of the history.
As far as extra goodies, there is a special The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword comic included at the very end of the book which, in traditional Manga fashion, reads from right to left. When it comes to the actual historical information and character profiles, it is exhaustingly extensive. I can’t imagine walking away from this book having any factual questions at all about the series or its lore. Bottom line: When it comes to content, Hyrule Historia delivers.
I thought about posting some screens from the book, but to be honest, with something like this I feel that half the fun and excitement is turning the page and discovering what’s next. For now, all I’ll say is the artwork is gorgeous and the information is captivating for anyone who’s remotely interested in the Zelda franchise. This is definitely a must-own for all Zelda fans who want to immerse themselves in the fiction long after they’ve put their controller (or handheld system) down.
The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is available now and currently retails for $34.99 (Hardcover edition.) At the time of this writing, it is in stock on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, available at a discounted price. The book will also be carried by most local comic shops.